Exeter Resource Corporation is a Canadian public company listed on the TSX Venture and NYSE Amex exchanges. Our focus is the discovery, evaluation and development of gold deposits in Chile and Argentina.
At March 24, 2009 the Company had C$40 million, a cash reserve considered sufficient to fund two years of expenditure at current levels of activity, including drilling on the Company’s Caspiche and Cerro Moro projects. Exeter plans to retain sufficient cash reserves so that the longer term viability of the Company is ensured.
Exeter’s Caspiche Project in Chile (option to own 100% from Anglo American Chile Limitada) is a gold-copper porphyry system, a type of deposit common to many of the world's largest open pit gold-copper mines. It is located 15 kilometres (8 miles) south of Kinross Gold's Refugio mine (+6 million ounce gold resource), and 10 kilometres (6 miles) north of the very large Cerro Casale gold-copper deposit (24 million ounce gold resource), jointly owned by Kinross Gold and Barrick Gold.
On March 24, 2009 Exeter announced an interim National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101”) compliant mineral resource estimate for Caspiche, for drilling to the end of 2008. The inferred resource is 8.73 million ounces gold and 2.09 billion pounds of copper, or 12.65 million gold equivalent ounces (refer to March 24, 2009 News Release). The additional 3.92 million ounces of gold equivalent is calculated using a copper conversion price of $1.50 per pound and a gold price of $800 per ounce. The resource estimate leaves the deposit open for expansion to the west, south and to depth.
A second mineral resource estimate is proposed in September 2009. It will be based on all data up to the seasonal close of drilling in May 2009. The Company plans to recommence drilling in October 2009 and to continue that program through to May 2010. The budget through to September 2010 provides for $16 million in expenditures and includes drilling to further expand the resource, in-fill drilling of the highest grade area to “indicated resource” status, infrastructure studies and metallurgical testwork.
The Company’s ultimate intention with regard to the Caspiche asset is to negotiate a transaction with a major mining company, which will enable us to realize all or part of the value of the Caspiche discovery for the benefit of shareholders.
The Cerro Moro Gold-Silver Project in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina is 100% owned by Exeter, with the Santa Cruz Government Mining Company, Fomicruz S.E. entitled to a 5% interest, on completion of mine permitting.
Since the onset of the financial crisis, the Company has focused on the very high grade Escondida vein system at Cerro Moro. We believe Cerro Moro has the potential to be developed as a low capital cost mining operation and the possibility of increasing the resource base is excellent.
An initial NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate based on 464 drill holes is scheduled to be released in Q2-2009. The Company will also restart drilling in Q2-2009, when drilling permits are received. One rig will further evaluate the known high grade Escondida Vein, where drilling has indicated significant near surface mineralization. A second rig will test a property immediately north west of the defined Escondida Vein, where geophysical data suggests a potential continuation of the Escondida Vein over a strike length of 2.0 kilometres (1.25 miles). That property is subject to a joint venture wherein Exeter can earn an 80% interest from Fomicruz S.E., by incurring certain exploration expenditures.
From Q4-2009 onwards, Cerro Moro activities will likely focus on mine development studies. The gold deposit should benefit from being very high grade by industry standards, and being near the port of Puerto Deseado where substantial infrastructure is available. It is also within an established gold-silver district, with mines owned by AngloGold Ashanti, Pan American Silver, Coeur d’Alene Mines and Minera Andes/Hochschild.
The Don Sixto Gold Project is located in Mendoza Province, Argentina (Exeter option to own 100%). Following detailed drilling conducted through 2005-2006 the Company announced a NI 43-101 compliant estimate of gold resources in 2007. At a 0.5 g/t gold cut-off grade the "measured and indicated resource" is 925,000 ounces of gold (20.48 million tonnes at an average grade of 1.40 g/t gold) and the "inferred resource" is 334,000 ounces of gold (9.29 million tonnes at a grade of 1.12 g/t gold). The resource is detailed on this website.
In June 2007, the Mendoza government passed legislation that severely restricts mining in Mendoza Province. Exeter immediately suspended exploration on the Don Sixto property and filed an action in the Supreme Court to have the legislation declared unconstitutional. The Company will continue to work with all levels of government, industry, unions and other interested parties to demonstrate that the project, if economically viable, could be developed responsibly and on a sustainable basis.
Exeter has other drill ready gold-silver targets in prospective regions of Patagonian Argentina and Chile that are currently on hold. The Company gained a broad foothold in the region through separate strategic alliances with Cerro Vanguardia S.A. (an AngloGold Ashanti subsidiary), and Rio Tinto Mining and Exploration Chile.
Exeter is well positioned for success. Our projects are proving to be uniquely valuable, and our strategic agreements with major companies provide a "pipeline" of growth opportunities.
High flying gold exploration junior, Exeter Resource Corp, has had the strategic split of the company into two separate entities approved by its shareholders. Exeter itself will now concentrate on the huge Caspiche gold/silver/copper project in the Maricunga region of the Chilean Andes, virtually halfway between Kinross' Maricunga mine (formerly known as Refugio) and Barrick's Cerro Casale project, while the spin-off company, to be called Extorre, will take on the group's Cerro Moro gold project, and other Argentinian gold exploration properties, with a view to bringing the former to production.
Mineweb first revealed the company's president, Bryce Roxburgh's, ideas to split in two last November - see Exeter's golden choices, and now this has come about with shareholder approval received with 99.83% in favour, with the final order agreeing the split granted by the Supreme Court of British Columbia on March 12th. The agreement should now be closed by March 22nd, with the distribution date for Extorre shares to Exeter's shareholders the day following. The shares have received preliminary approval for listing on the TSX, and while they are not yet to be listed on the NYSE-AMEX register, the new company plans to apply for listing on the OTCQX exchange for its U.S. shareholders and subsequently on the NYSE-AMEX. Listing is subject to Extorre meeting all listing requirements of those exchanges and receiving exchange acceptances of listing applications.
Exeter shares themselves will trade "ex-distribution" on the TSX on March 18, 2010 and on the NYSE-AMEX on March 24, 2010.
On closing, the new company, Extorre, will hold all of Exeter's former interest in the Argentinian Cerro Moro and Don Sixto Projects as well as its other Argentinian Patagonian exploration projects and an initial $25 million in capital from Exeter. Initial focus will be on development of the Cerro Moro Project, while exploration drilling will continue to test for new high grade vein targets. Exeter itself will continue to hold and focus on advancing its Caspiche Project.
Part of the reason for the split relates to the huge differences in project parameters between Caspiche and Cerro Moro and will enable two separate management teams to concentrate on two very different projects. Caspiche looks to be rivalling Barrick's Cerro Casale in size and grade, and so far has an inferred mineral resource estimate of 1,117 million tonnes at a grade of 0.55 grams per tonne gold and 1.12 grams per tonne silver including 1,017 tonnes at a grade of 0.22% copper. This equates to in-situ inferred resources of 19.6 million ounces of gold, 40 million ounces of silver and 4.84 billion pounds of copper (a total of 32.4 million gold equivalent ounces). The size of this deposit suggests a multi-billion dollar development to bring a large open pit to production and is therefore markedly different to the skills and financing necessary for the smaller Cerro Moro project.
The Cerro Moro project, as it is much smaller in scope and less costly to bring into production could be mined with a series of relatively small narrow open pits and by underground methods, being similar to AngloGold's Cerro Vanguardia which is relatively nearby in Argentina's Patagonia area. A mine here can be brought on stream relatively quickly by new company, Extorre, without necessarily having to bring in a jv partner. The current resource at Cerro Moro stands at 646,000 ounces gold equivalent at a grade of 18 grammes per tonne gold equivalent. This is almost entirely on the high grade Escondida vein, and with a number of other significant vein structures already delineated, the eventual resource will be very much larger. A new resource statement, which will still be primarily based on the Escondida vein drilling, is due next month.
The company split will enable two separate management teams to concentrate wholly on two very different types of projects, and is a move which Exeter management feels will strongly enhance shareholder value.